2017 Indiana General Assembly
Each year, Hoosiers have come to rely on Citizens Action Coalition to monitor Indiana legislation pertaining to energy, environment, and utilities. As always, we are watching closely to protect consumers, our democracy, our environment, our natural resources, and vulnerable populations during this long session of the 2017 Indiana General Assembly.
Don't Let the Electric Monopolies Block Out the Sun:
Tell your State Legislators to OPPOSE Senate Bill 309!
Distributed generation generally refers to small energy generation resources which are on-site, or very near to the site of where the energy will be consumed. Typically, distributed energy resources use renewable energy, like wind and solar. Examples would include solar panels on the roof of a home, or a wind turbine at a school or a farm. The utilities are attacking rooftop solar and small-scale wind because it allows customers to compete with them. They are monopolies and they see any type of competition as a threat. They want our State Legislators to protect them from ANY competition, especially the kind that allows us to keep our money in our own pockets.
Here are the lowlights of what SB309 will do:
- Prohibits NEW net metering in Indiana in 5 years. Net metering allows you to generate electricity and get credited for it at the same price that you pay for it. (Net metering is discussed in more detail on the back of our fact sheet.) SB309 places a permanent prohibition on net metering in 5 years and ends net metering permanently in 30 years (2047). After 2022, even if your utility wanted to offer net metering, the law would prevent them from doing so. Existing net metering customers who interconnect by July 1, 2017 will be “grandfathered” and allowed to net meter until 2047. Customers who interconnect between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2022, will be allowed to net meter until 2032.
- Fixes utility rates into law for the benefit of the monopoly utilities. SB309 will mandate that the utilities must credit you at rates that are only slightly higher than the average wholesale rate for the electricity you generate and send to the grid. Even though the utility will sell the electricity from your solar panels to your neighbor at the full retail rate (between 11¢-16¢ per kilowatt hour, depending on the utility), they will only have to credit you at a rate that is slightly higher than the wholesale rate, which at today’s prices would be approximately 3.5¢ per kilowatt hour.
- Is a RATE HIKE for ALL customers. SB309 steals the economic benefits of solar away from all customers and gives it to the utilities. SB309 significantly raises the monthly bills of solar customers by drastically reducing the credit which they receive and by allowing the utility to charge them unfair monthly charges on their bills. SB309 will also raise the monthly bills of ALL customers. It allows the utilities to hike our bills quarterly to force ALL customers to pay for the credits the utilities give to solar customers for the electricity they are putting onto the grid. Net metering is a benefit for all customers; SB309 steals that benefit and gives it to the utilities.
- Prices rooftop solar (and small‐scale wind) out of the market. By setting their own rules and prices, utilities will make rooftop solar and wind so unaffordable that nobody will be able to do it. This will not only reduce consumer choices, it will lead to job losses and a significant reduction in investment in clean energy in our state, leaving Indiana farther behind than we already are.
You can learn more about the current status of SB309 on our 2017 Energy & Utility Bill Watch List page.
Below are the bills we are working on and watching during this session:
Below are our weekly reports regarding the goings-on at the Indiana State House:
As always, you should contact your Indiana State Senator and Representative if you have strong feelings about the legislation they are considering this session.
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